• March
  • 02
  • 2021
  • Erika Armstrong

You can spend millions on the most sophisticated business jet in the world, but it is only as safe as your pilot's decisions. Making the conscious effort to skimp on pilot training is like putting lipstick on a pig; it's a futile effort to disguise a fundamental failing. When it...


  • January
  • 25
  • 2021
  • Advanced Aircrew Academy

Pilots have a thread of adventure that connects heart to brain to soul. That thread creates a Bermuda Triangle of income, stability, and calm (in that it all disappears), but it also manifests into an independent personality. Pilots tend to be self-powered, self-guided, and see the world through the eyes...


  • January
  • 15
  • 2021
  • Advanced Aircrew Academy

With the reduction in overall business aviation flying in 2020, we expected to see a decrease in the number of runway excursions. For years we have consistently seen on average a business aviation runway excursion every two weeks in the United States. With a Hawker 800XP runway excursion in Farmingdale,...


  • December
  • 14
  • 2020
  • Erika Armstrong

“I fell into a burning ring of fire. I went down, down, down…And the flames went higher. And it burns, burns, burns…The ring of fire, the ring of fire…” ~ Johnny Cash There is an invisible Circle of Safety around each pilot that grows with experience and knowledge, but it...


  • November
  • 06
  • 2020
  • Advanced Aircrew Academy

Risk is a function of being alive. From the moment you took your first breath, you have been living a life of risk management, always balancing risk versus reward. Should I pass the car in front of me? Should I change jobs/careers/spouse? Should I try the gas station sushi? For...


  • August
  • 26
  • 2020
  • Erika Armstrong

As he stood there, arms crossed, smug smile on his face, I knew instantly this is where playground bullies go to work. Since I'd been in aviation for a dozen years at this point, I'd been through countless checkrides, thousands of hours of learning, training, upgrades, proving runs, ramp checks,...


  • August
  • 20
  • 2020
  • Erika Armstrong

"Mom, can I borrow the car?" These are the words that trigger negotiations in my head. "Sure, but you have to take out the garbage." At this point, I don't yet realize my error. The next morning, the garbage is still sitting in the kitchen can. When I pound on...


  • July
  • 22
  • 2020
  • Erika Armstrong

Six degrees of separation is the idea that all people are approximately six social connections away from each other. In the aviation world, it's closer to two, but those connections can be on the other side of the world from each other. The great aspect of both aviation and technology...


  • June
  • 09
  • 2020
  • Advanced Aircrew Academy

There are two things to remember when using hand sanitizer in the business aviation world. First, it will find every cut and nick in your skin. Second, it is considered a Hazardous Material (Hazmat). Pilots have a responsibility for not accepting improper materials, so it might help you remember by...


  • May
  • 26
  • 2020
  • Erika Armstrong

Airplanes are designed with the idea that systems will inevitably fail, so there are backup systems and checklists to help guide pilots through an emergency. Because no one had a checklist for COVID-19, the world is making it up as we go along. The Business Aviation sector is an unusual...


  • May
  • 01
  • 2020
  • Advanced Aircrew Academy

Pilots work in complex, unpredictable environments that are constantly changing. Each day brings unique and often frustrating situations, and many of the operational challenges can't be taught in a classroom because there are infinite variables. Being a Business Aviation pilot flying outside the U.S. requires knowledge and an understanding of...


  • April
  • 16
  • 2020
  • Erika Armstrong

Aviation rules and regulation are being bent and flexed rapidly during the Covid-19 crisis. The irony for this rule change is that while everyone else is being asked to use a mask, pilots are being relieved of their requirement to wear one, but this is a little different. The most...


  • April
  • 16
  • 2020
  • Advanced Aircrew Academy

A professional pilot's workday never ends. There cannot be a separation between a personal life and a work life because pilots carry their jobs into their personal lives and vice versa due to the standards they are held to which are even more restrictive than the law. Being a pilot...


  • January
  • 28
  • 2020
  • Erika Armstrong

Pregnant pilot. Until recently, those two words rarely appeared next to each other. Only 5-7% of the ATP pilot population can give birth, but that number is growing, which means the industry has a few challenges ahead trying to establish rules and regulations on what to do with pregnant pilots...


  • January
  • 14
  • 2020
  • Advanced Aircrew Academy

Now that Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) Out is required (14 CFR § 91.225), is pilot training required to use it? Most pilots roll their eyes when thinking there may be one more training requirement. The short answer is…maybe. History A bit of history first. In 2010, an International Civil Aviation Organization...


  • November
  • 19
  • 2019
  • Erika Armstrong

How old do you feel? How old do you look? How old are you on the inside versus the outside? How old you are might look and feel different if it's the last leg of a five-day trip opposed to the first day! Now that we're living longer, there are...


  • October
  • 28
  • 2019
  • Erika Armstrong

Pilots learn early in their career how to handle engine shutdowns, but there is no checklist for when your flight department shuts down. It’s rare to see a pilot begin and end their career with one company, especially in Business Aviation, so the odds are that you will have either...


  • September
  • 12
  • 2019
  • Advanced Aircrew Academy

Picture this: You're flying over the ocean enroute to a foreign land and, of course, it's a dark and stormy night. You're dealing with building storms and turbulence. Your passengers keep coming to the cockpit to ask if you're there yet. Suddenly, a message comes in from your Data Link...


  • August
  • 19
  • 2019
  • Advanced Aircrew Academy

There are directions on jigsaw puzzles that state "Some assembly required"; on blowtorches "Not to be used for drying hair"; on chain saws "Do not attempt to stop chain with your hands"; and headscratchers on bags of chips that announce "You could be a winner! No purchase necessary. Details inside."...


  • July
  • 16
  • 2019
  • Advanced Aircrew Academy

If you are climbing a mountain, it's best to concentrate on just the next few steps. If you keep looking up to see how much ground you must cover, your frustration will be kept at an elevated level while you remain below it. Pilot training is a bit like trying...


  • July
  • 10
  • 2019
  • Erika Armstrong

Pilots like telling stories. "There I was, in the clouds, one engine out, and the other anti-ice valve stuck in the closed position during a blizzard…" But, better yet, pilots enjoy listening to stories because as visual learners, they will listen to a story and without even realizing they're doing...


  • May
  • 14
  • 2019
  • Advanced Aircrew Academy

Weather Radar Module for Warm Weather Operations Advanced Aircrew Academy's Weather Radar Module covers all of the warm weather-generated hazards that pilots face associated mainly with thunderstorms that can grow rapidly and unpredictably. Spring is a perfect time to refocus on warm weather operations and review those hazards, such as...


  • April
  • 29
  • 2019
  • Erika Armstrong

You’ve thought about it. You’ve looked across the airport and seen the hustle and bustle of all those shiny airliners at the gate and you wonder what their day might be like. You’ve also looked across the ramp at the other flight crews and wondered if their flight coordinator just...


  • April
  • 15
  • 2019
  • Dan Boedigheimer

Since a wet or contaminated runway continues to be the most common causal factor in runway excursions, it is not a surprise to see an increase in them during the winter months. US Part 121 airlines had an increase in number of excursions this winter. Southwest Airlines had 2 runway...


  • April
  • 11
  • 2019
  • Advanced Aircrew Academy

The FAA updates the Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM) twice a year. The latest change was published on February 28, 2019. You can find the latest AIM at https://www.faa.gov/air_traffic/publications/. There were two changes in this latest revision we would like to highlight. Remember that rule you read when you first started flying:...



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